Meditation 4: Mindfulness
Hello, and welcome back to the meditation for depression series.
Today, we’re going to delve a bit deeper into something we’d mentioned before, called mindfulness. Now, mindfulness has been studied extensively over the years and has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and more. Mindfulness is essentially a state of being aware, or mindful of the present moment, and at the same time being and observer and acknowledging your thoughts, feelings, and body sensations as separate from “you”.
When you’re being mindful throughout your day, you’re being aware of the present moment, while observing your thoughts from a comfortable distance. You begin to live life experiencing the present moment, while coming to view your thoughts and feelings as separate from you. Thoughts and feelings still come, but you don’t judge them. You don’t embody them. You simply acknowledge them, perhaps by using the noting technique, and then let them go, returning your focus back to your breath and the present moment.
Now, today, let’s continue to practice noting thoughts and feelings that arise while we take some time to quiet ourselves in meditation.
Gently take three long, deep breaths just as we have in the previous meditations.
Inhale. 1,2,3,4, Exhale. 1,2,3,4,5
Relaxing your entire body as you breathe.
Now, allow your breath to return to normal. Notice the rhythm of the breath. Feel the cool air as it goes into your nose, down your throat, and into your belly. Keep your spine straight, envisioning your breath moving up and down the spine as you breathe. Allow your spine to open up and allow that energy to flow freely.
As you breathe, feel each part of your body relax. Your head, cheeks, mouth. Your chest, arms, fingers. Moving down to your stomach. Let it relax fully. Now your buttocks, legs, feet. Even your toes. Just breathe and let yourself sink into a deep relaxation.
You’re content. You’re calm, now returning your focus to your inhale and exhale.
If a thought or feeling comes, simply note it with a silent word or two, observing it like cloud in the sky, and then returning to the breath. Not only is your body fully relaxed, but your mind is too.
You’re present moment living. Mindful of the now.
If you feel a body sensation, acknowledge it. Note it by silently saying, “Feeling”, then return attention to the breath.
Remember. Your mind thinks, but you are not your thoughts. As an observer, observe and then let go and return your attention to the here and now.
This feels good. This living in the moment, honoring your true self with each breath.
As you live more in the now you will begin to see how often we live in the past or the future. As you focus on the feeling of each breath you are forced to be in your body in the present moment. You can’t change the past. You have no control over the future. But in this place, in the complete serenity of this second, you are in control.
Take a moment to bask in this feeling. The past and future have no sway here. You alone get to feel this patch of joy you have created, and cultivated.
You may feel gratitude begin to flow through you, thankful for this life that is flowing through you. This moment that is bringing you more awareness. Gently restoring you. Helping you become more aware of who you really are. Helping you become more of an observer of your thoughts, opening the door to a greater self-love.
Breathing in. Out. In, out. This quiet space that you enter. You’re here, now. This quiet space bringing you to centeredness, balanced mind, body, and soul. Rest here in this space, keeping your focus on the breath and noting any thoughts that come.
Gently take three long, deep breaths, continuing our observing of thoughts and feelings and our noting as they arise. They can’t harm you here. You’re in the present, moment, filled with growing joy.
Inhale. 1,2,3,4, Exhale. 1,2,3,4,5
Now, slowly bring your awareness back to your body, feeling your weight against the ground or chair. If you want, you can wiggle your toes or fingers as you become more alert.
Slowly pay attention to how calm you feel. Notice how refreshed you feel, perhaps even more optimistic about your day. Now, take this feeling, or mindfulness, with you today and this week, focusing on your breath as much as possible. When a thought or feeling comes, simply note it with one or two words and then return your focus to the present moment.
Congratulations on completing another meditation session. Smile, knowing that you are putting in the effort required for a more peaceful, joyful life.
See you next time.
”Remember. Your mind thinks, but you are not your thoughts. As an observer, observe and then let go and return your attention to the here and now.